Country singer Lee Brice fulfills promise for Syracuse concertgoers

Review: Country singers Lee Brice and Chris Young kicked off their co-headlining tour in Syracuse, giving fans a night to remember, if the beer allowed.

A sea of plaid, camo and baseball caps filled the Oncenter War Memorial Arena and the beer was plentiful, but one thing noticeably missing from Lee Brice and Chris Young's first show on their co-headlining One Night Live Tour was a highly anticipated performance together.

When The NewsHouse spoke with Brice ahead of the show, he revealed he and Young were "trying to work up something to do at the end of show." With his winter coat on, Young did join Brice back on stage at the end of the show, but to give him a hug and thank the crowd once more.

Photo: Cassie DiLaura
Phones and lighters lit up the War Memorial Arena during Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck".

Although there was no performance together, which would have surely been a highlight for country music lovers, Brice came through on his promise to make Thursday night's show one to remember for his Syracuse fans.

"The show definitely exceeded my expectations," Chelsea Bentley of Liverpool said.

True to his form, Brice, whose song "Love Like Crazy" had Bentley in tears, gave an hour-plus set perfectly balanced with famed ballads like "I Don't Dance", "A Woman Like You" and heavier rockabilly songs like "Drinking Class" and "Parking Lot Party."

Before Brice even appeared on stage, "Nashville Star" winner Chris Young kicked off the show after the opening act, Brothers Osborne, setting the bar very high for Brice to top. Young, who provoked high energy from the crowd through his entire set, had a song for singles and couples alike.

"Where's all my single people at?" Young asked, before an uproar of cheers filled the arena. "Well this is a love song, so ya'll figure out something to do," he joked.

Before ending his set with his hit "Tomorrow," mostly led by the crowd's voices, Young sincerely thanked the crowd countless times for its support. Notable was Young's ability to connect with the audience through small talk and hitting exceptionally high notes. It didn't hurt that he changed the lyrics of "Neon" to incorporate a personal Syracuse touch.

After a quick set change, Brice kicked off his set with a few of his more upbeat songs, before slowing it down with a solo acoustic set, which included the most defining song of his earlier career.

Before performing "More Than a Memory," written about his "first love," Brice reminisced on the moment his "hero", Garth Brooks, called him to tell him he wanted to record the breakout 2007 track and put it out as his single.

"I still can't believe it," Brice exclaimed to the crowd.

Brice continued his acoustic set with a performance of "Crazy Girl", which he wrote for the Eli Young Band, a song fans probably did not expect to hear.

"Us idiot men could not live without you crazy women," Brice proclaimed.

After Brice performed two more tracks off his latest album "I Don't Dance," phones lit up and swayed throughout the arena to Brice's "I Drive Your Truck," which earned him 'Song of the Year' at the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in April 2014. 

By dedicating the song to not only all those who have fought and are fighting for our country, but also for anyone who has lost someone close to them, Brice reaffirmed the connection he and his music have with fans, something Bentley mentioned resonates most with her.

From the set's beginning to end, Brice had his fans dancing and filling the arena with uproars of screaming, equally as loud as the bass coming from the band, which made it hard for some fans to sing along.

"It's hard to hear the words because they crank it up so loud," Brian Gilbert of Brewerton said. "It's not like how it is on the radio."

Perhaps the loudest uproar in the War Memorial though was when Brice put on a Syracuse Crunch jersey for his last few songs, much to the crowd's delight.

Although it is difficult to determine who had the 'better' set, per se, it is impossible to deny that Brice and Young are an excellently paired duo to co-headline a country tour together.

Brice and Young will continue their One Night Live Tour, hitting states like Connecticut, Kentucky and Indiana along the way. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster.




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